Papabile of the day: In addition to Peter Turkson from Ghana, there's another African who could be an equally compelling choice for pope.
Cardinals Sean O'Malley of Boston, Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and Francis George of Chicago met the press for a half-hour at the North American College, home to American seminarians in Rome.
There wasn't much hard news out of the session, though it was interesting to hear each man speak briefly about how he plans to go about preparing for the papal election.
One interesting comment on that score came from George. In effect, he said the cardinals don't go about things all that differently than those of us who get paid to handicap papal candidates for a living.
Assuming tonight’s brief salute by Benedict XVI from his balcony at Castel Gandolfo isn’t really a substantive address, he likely delivered the last public remarks of his life this morning in which he'll quote a Catholic theologian.
If so, Benedict went out on a characteristic note, citing the modern thinker who’s had the greatest imprint on his own thinking –- Romano Guardini.
Now that Pope Benedict has granted his own wish to step down, the debate over his legacy is officially open.
Pope Benedict this morning met for last time with the College of Cardinals, promising "unconditional reverence and obedience" to his successor, who was likely in the room.
Rome analysis: The way in which Benedict is stepping off the stage may be reframing his legacy, perhaps providing a more generous optic for assessing the pope.
Rome dispatch: The last public day on the job for Pope Benedict was surprisingly intimate for a man known for his formal demeanor.
John Allen in Rome: If Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco gets elected, there's a sense that the title "The Accidental Pope" would fit him.
John Allen is offering a profile each day of one of the most frequently touted papabili, or men who could be pope. The old saying in Rome is that he who enters a conclave as pope exits as a cardinal, meaning there's no guarantee one of these men actually will be chosen. They are, however, the leading names drawing buzz in Rome these days, ensuring they will be in the spotlight as the conclave draws near. The profiles of these men also suggest the issues and the qualities other cardinals see as desirable heading into the election.
Q-and-A: Cardinal Donald Wuerl may not have rock star charisma or the reputation for simplicity, but he’s arguably the most pivotal senior prelate in the United States.